Mexican Inspired Slow Cooker Chicken

Mexican Inspired Slow Cooker Chicken

If you’re no stranger to rushing from the office, to the dry cleaners, then dance classes, piano recitals, hockey games, or yoga classes, chances are you’ve stopped at a few fast food drive-thru locations on your way home. We hear you – and there’s no judgement here! Sometimes life gets busy, and cooking a full meal might not seem possible. With just a bit of planning, preparation, and a slow cooker, you can skip the chicken nuggets and serve up a healthy and nutritious meal. Our Mexican Inspired Slow Cooker Chicken only takes 20 minutes to prepare, is full of flavor, and has just the right amount of spice!

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 3 to 4 hours
Yield: 8 servings


  • 2 lbs / 908 g boneless chicken thighs, rinsed and patted dry
  • 2 tbs of Canola Harvest Oil
  • 796 ml / 1 can diced tomatoes, drained (reserve liquid)
  • 160 ml / 2/3 cup reserved liquid from the canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 medium / 198 g / 1 1/3 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1 pepper / 36 g / 1/4 cup jalapeno, seeds removed, finely diced
  • 28 g / 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 30 ml / 2 tbsp lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 15 ml / 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 3 cloves / 3 tsp garlic, minced
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 6 g / 2 tsp chili powder
  • 7 g / 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 g / 1 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 g / 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 g / 1/2 tsp smoked paprika


  • fresh cilantro leaves


  1. Drizzle boneless chicken thighs with melted Canola Harvest margarine. Place half of the thighs into the pot of the slow cooker.
  2. Add in half of the drained diced tomatoes and 1/3 cup (80 milliliters) of the reserved canned tomato liquid.
  3. Sprinkle half of the diced onions, 2 tablespoons (18 grams) of finely diced jalapenos, 1 tablespoon (14 grams) brown sugar, half of the lime juice, vinegar, minced garlic, 1 bay leaf, half the amount of chili powder, salt, ground cumin, oregano and smoked paprika over the tomatoes.
  4. Place the remaining chicken thighs over the tomato mixture. Add in the remaining diced tomatoes, tomato juice, onions, jalapeno, brown sugar, lime juice, vinegar, garlic, bay leaf, chili powder, salt, cumin, oregano and smoked paprika.
  5. Cover pot. Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours, or until chicken thighs are tender and can be shredded easily. Remove chicken from the pot and place onto a rimmed baking tray. Allow to rest and cool slightly; 5 minutes.
  6. Using 2 forks, pull the meat off the chicken thighs and into shreds.
  7. Place the shredded chicken and the juices from the tray back into the pot. Lower heat to low, cover the pot and allow the chicken to cook for an additional 20 to 25 minutes.
  8. Serve with rice and garnish with fresh cilantro.

Chef’s Notes:

  • In place of chicken thighs, boneless chicken breasts make for an excellent substitution in this recipe.
  • For some extra spiciness, leave the seeds in the jalapeno – or add another deseeded jalapeno!
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